"You are what you eat." "A body in motion stays in motion."
These are a couple of sayings I've heard growing up that has made an impact on me. Fitness is an interesting thing where we know it's good for us; yet, so difficult to maintain. Why is that? Maybe it's because we give so much of our energy to other things and people in our life that it's pretty much a "chore" to give some of our energy to fitness. When did this become or be seen as a negative? I understand I'll never get the answer to that, but I do know it is possible to see fitness as a positive and a great thing to prioritize.
Our first step to prioritizing it is to think about why you do you want to get into fitness?
Something I ask my clients to do to establish this is to write themselves a letter. In this letter I want you to let yourself have the truth. This letter isn't meant to be shared with anyone or me unless you want it to. This is to help you focus on your personal relationship with yourself, your ideas around working out and eating healthy.
Sample starter questions:
• Why do you want to get into fitness?
• What has stopped you in the place for doing so &/or made you inconsistent?
• Are you wanting to do this for yourself or for external reasons?
• (If applicable) Why are you doing this for external reasons & not for yourself?
• (Tough one) Are you doing this because you love yourself or because you hate yourself, your body?
• Do you think that by looking healthy on the outside means you truly are healthy on the inside?
• Is fitness actually a deflection from you working on your mental health or will it contribute to your mental health efforts?
When you have a why, a reason that truly resonates with you, it'll allow you to stay motivated and have long term success. You need to think about what is you going to keep you on track while you're getting ready to go to the gym & your friend texts you if you want to go out. What is going to keep you strong to continue eating healthier food choices while someone at works brings fast food to share for everyone? If your reason isn't really important to you, you'll be willing to break your commitment and cave in. I'm not saying completely stop hanging out with your friends or eating fast food-I'm simply advocating prioritizing fitness. Depending on your schedule, tell your friend that you're about to head to the gym but would they be willing to meet up later? When your coworker bring food on a certain day of the week, if possible try to plan that to be your cheat meal (a free cheat meals always the best). The biggest "test" could be when your coworkers bring food randomly. How did you prepare your meals ahead of time? Did you pack a safety snack that will allow you to satisfy that savory or sweet craving so that whenever unexpected food arrives at work, or at home, you'll be able to combat caving in?
Sometimes after writing yourself this letter, you might discover other things or thoughts you're trying to suppress. Maybe you might find out you're not ready to begin focusing on fitness because you need to focus on something else first? Maybe you didn't realize how you were only wanting to do this for others and not yourself? If that's the case, ask yourself what is the motivation for that? How did these other people become more important than how you feel about yourself? It can sound as innocent like, you wanting more energy to play with my kids/grandkids to wanting people/society to accept you. Some people struggle with self worth and some people don't. I know it's a hard thing to admit you have an issue with. For me, I struggled with this because it's like I felt doing things for myself was selfish & I was afraid of being called that.
I'm a trainer where I seriously suggest prioritizing both your physical health AND mental health. Having a healthy looking body should not be more important than having a healthy mind; however, it simply has been for ages. That's why I have my clients do this before we begin any training. If a client doesn't want to do that, it's completely ok all I can do is state my intent for it and the possible positives it has to hold one accountable in their experience with me. Understand that your reason for getting into any goal is your foundation & your secret weapon for whenever you want to give up. This is why it's so important to have a certain level of self awareness & intention before signing up to do something to alter your life. You can't take of others if you don't take care of yourself. This fitness journey has to be about you, your feelings towards you, your body and health. Stay strong, allow yourself to feel, and give yourself that moment of truth. You got this. I believe in you. We all have potential and it's up to us to learn how to harness it.
You want to have long term success ?
You have to be your own why.